Friday, 21 June 2013 04:54



“Nam came into being with the farsighted vision of Jawaharlal Nehru Marshal Tito of Yugoslavia and Colonel Abdel Nasser of Egypt in the fifties today presents the miserable spectacle of an aged ethereal struggling to find a way out of the complex political forest. With the end of the Cold War the pious concept of non-alignment seems to have become totally irrelevant and redundant, but by no means eliminated the causes that warranted concerted action by the ever enlarging non-aligned club to fight common problems engulfed their economies. Peace, disarmament and development are still the vital issues that should be tackled with the same sense of urgency as the issues flowing from globalization that have crucially benefit the already affluent another and create new problems in the economies of the South. But strangely enough, many of the NAM members, preoccupied with the bitterness emanating from festering bilateral disputes (as between India and Pakistan and Iran and a few Arab counties) misuse the NAM forum to settle scores with each other. ”

The NAM traces its origin to a meeting in 1955 of 29 Asian and African countries which heads of state discussed common concerns, including colonialism and the influence of the West. A meeting in 1961 set up the criteria for NAM membership. It ruled that member countries could not be involved in alliances or defence pacts with the main world powers. In this way the NAM sought to prevent its members from becoming pawns in Cold War power games and distanced itself from the Western and Soviet power blocs. NAM member countries represent many shades of political opinion.

The first summit of NAM heads of state took place in the Yugoslav capital Belgrade in 1961 at the instigation of Yugoslav President Tito. Twenty five countries were represented and the threat of war between the US and the Soviet Union dominated the summit.

The NAM says it aims to protect the right of nations to “independent judgment” and to counter imperialism. The movement is also committed to restructuring the world economic order.

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the NAM’s preoccupations with global politics and the Cold War have given way to concerns about globalization, trade and investment, debt, Aids and international crime.

The NAM’s February 2003 summit in Malaysia was dominated by the issues of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and North Korea and the possibility of US-led military action against the former.

The NAM does not have a constitution or a permanent secretariat. Its highest decision-making body is the Conference of heads of States or Government which usually meets once every three years. At this time the post of NAM chair is passed to the host country of the summit.

Malaysia assumed the chair of the NAM at the Kuala Lumpaur summit on February 2003. Cuba will take up the post in 2006. South Africa’s Thbo Mbeki has called on the NAM to take a bolder stance.

The NAM chair takes on the administrative burden of running the movement. Because much of the NAM’s work is undertaken at the United Nations in New York, the chair country’s ambassador to the UN is expected to devote time and effort to NAM matters. The NAM’s coordinating Bureau, also based at the UN, is the main instrument for directing the work of NAM task forces. Committees and working groups.

The NAM says all its members have a decision-making role, regardless of size or influence.

With 116 diverse member nations, consensus-building is no easy task in the NAM. Some member nations, including India and Pakistan, have been at loggerheads with each other for many years.

The relevance of the NAM since the collapse of the Soviet Union has also been questioned, with some commentators speculating whether the organization has outlived its usefulness.

In 2003. Thablo Mbeki, President of South Africa, the NAM chair country warned that the movements future depended on its response to global challenges. He called on the NAM to take stronger resolutions on issues of concern.

The issue of aaleged mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners by United States and British soldiers will be “touched upon” during the Non-Aligned Movement ministerial committee meeting on May 13. Foreign minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar said, “The coalition forces should not resort to giving excuses or justification for their troops” behavior, photographs of which have angered most of the Islamic world. Our stand is that there must be respect for the rule of law. A country which has respect for the rule of law and democratic process cannot give excuses or justification for the wrongful actions of their own soldiers under whatever circumstances.

“It is important that the two countries do not sweep the allegations under the carpet. The whole issue must be investigated thoroughly,” he told reporters after attending his ministry’s staff monthly meeting at Wisma Putra. He Said, “There had been previous reports accusing some of the people working in Iraq as having “very condescending and obnoxious attitudes towards the locals.” “Whatever investigations carried out by the US or British authorities must not be about to find justification. This is against international law and rules of engagement,” he said. Syed Hamid said, “The meeting which was called specially to discuss the current situation in Iraq, should be coming out with at least one declaration on the recent revelations. “It will be discussed during the NAM meeting,” he said.

In the present international scenario, the dominancy of USA and the other developed countries is gradually increasing. The American hegemony be viewed not only in the United nation’s meetings, but also in alleged intervention all over the world. Under these circumstances, NAM has to play an important role in revitalizing the UNO so that it may remain a major entity in solving the international problems.

Almost all the countries are facing the threat of terrorism today. NAM has been endeavoring for peace and complete nuclear disarmament ever since its inception. It always asserts that disarmament is closely related with the very survival of humanity. The rise of religious fanaticism, ethnic nationalism and internal conflicts are other crucial problems facing the world today. NAM can play an effective role in drawing the attention of the world towards the present problems. NAM’s  conference has laid stress on many such aspects, but got little success. NAM has to work more vigorously to achieve its goal. NAM is facing many challenges in the present scenario. NAM, an international movement, may have some shortcomings but as a foreign policy it has a great value and will always great importance.

To say that NAM has lost its relevance is a wrong conclusion. It is argued that NAM couldn’t get any positive success so far, still the voice raised by NAM on so many issues forced the Super Power to vindicated their actions. The US or other developed countries were bound to reply the points raised by NAM. “with the Non Aligned at its hear, the UN can at last serve the people of the world as they must be served. Together we can turn 21st century into a time of truly revolutionary change” said, Dr. Bourtors Bourtors Ghali.

In a nutshell it can so be concluded that NAM has not lost its relevance. It has stood test of adverse circumstances. It has served an important purpose of protecting and preserving the interests of third world countries.

In the words of R.Venkataraman (Former President of India):

“NAM is not an ‘ism’. it cannot become outdated any more than common sense can become outdated. No national, no group of nations can disregard the NAM. It must today raise its voice against the injustices and inequities of the current decade and the emerging 21st century.”